Tilly and the Wall

I have written long half-deranged screeds against the electric guitar here before, so I won’t bore you with a mere recap of my irrational and fairly hyporcritical invective once more. All I will recap is that I think electronic music is not a way out of the guitar-based pop morass; I write software for my day job, so outside of work I need something that is not programming, something that captures a performance, a more primal give and take between two or more human beings making some kind of organized noise (I’ve certainly heard electronic music that captures this spirit, but it’s a rare thing). And while I definitely get some energy from listening to classics of previous eras, like jazz and classical (I’m sorry, jazz people, give me a counterexample that jazz is not on life support, and I will gladly eat my words), I generally crave things that are more of the zeitgeist.

Anyway, part of what appeals to me about removing the electric guitar from modern pop is really almost just the exercise of doing something unfamiliar, like writing your name with your left hand (or right hand if you’re left-handed). So that is at least in part what attracts me to Tilly and the Wall. Rather than take out the guitar, they took out another central pillar of the heterodox rock platform: the drums. And replaced it with a miked tapdancer. Yes, the only percussion is tapdancing. It actually seems obvious in retrospect, like why did nobody think of this before, which is often the hallmark of total genius.

Terri bought their most recent album, Bottoms of Barrels, last year, and I liked a song or two, but lately, they’re all I can listen to.

Also, I forgive them for being part of the same Omaha milieu that spawned the loathsome Bright Eyes.

Also, they are staffed entirely by supermodels and dorky-looking guys, a formidable combination.

Also, I would include a youtube video of them on Letterman, but I can’t seem to get YouTube to come up right now, which is odd.

2 thoughts on “Tilly and the Wall”

  1. Here in Cascadia we have the Evolutionary Jass Band. I don’t know if they can take jazz off life support, (I’m sure some people would argue that their music is not jazz, because, well, that’s what those people do) but we don’t care, ’cause we have them. They have a sweet record out on the Community Library label, maybe another one coming soon, but, well, go see them if they ever go to Boston. It will make you live longer, I swear.

  2. Isn’t Tilly and the Wall on conor’s label. People should lay off Mr. Bright Eyes, it just makes you look like you want to knock what’s popular.

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